The latest California Field Crop Review from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Sacramento, Calif.

Wheat

California winter wheat production is forecast at 798,000 tons, 6 percent above last year. The 380,000 acres expected for grain harvest is 20 percent above last year. The yield is forecast at 2.10 tons per acre, 12.5 percent below last year.

California's Durum wheat production is forecast at 331,000 tons, down 35 percent from last year. The yield is forecast at 3.15 tons per acre. If realized, this would tie a record in California. Cool weather during the growing season delayed crop development and the start of the wheat harvest by about 10 days. No major quality or disease issues have been reported.

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast at 44.4 million tons, up 2 percent from the May 1 forecast but down 3 percent from 2009. Based on June 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 1.40 tons per acre, up slightly from the previous forecast and up .8 tons from last year. Expected grain area totals 31.8 million acres, unchanged from last month, but down 8 percent from last year.

Sweet potatoes

California’s 2009 sweet potato production is forecast at 5.92 million cwt. (hundredweight), up 36 percent from 2008. Harvested acreage is estimated at 17,400 acres, 18 percent above 2008. The yield, 340 cwt. per acre, is 15 percent above 2008.

Nationally, production for the 2009 crop year is revised to 19.5 million cwt., down 1 percent from the 2009 Crop Production Summary, but up 6 percent from 2008. The area harvested, 96,900 acres, is down 1 percent from the previous estimate. The average yield is a record 201 cwt. per acre, unchanged from the January estimate.

Sugarbeets

2009 California sugarbeet production is estimated at 886,000 tons, 16 percent below 2008. Planted acreage is estimated at 25,300 acres, down 3 percent from last year. Harvested acreage is estimated at 25,300 acres, unchanged from 2008. The yield is forecast at 35 tons per acre, 16 percent below 2008.

National sugarbeet production for the 2009 crop year is revised to 29.6 million tons, up slightly from the January end-of-season estimate and 10 percent above 2008. Planted area totaled 1.19 million acres while harvested area totaled 1.15 million acres, both up slightly from the previous estimate.

The yield, 25.7 tons per acre, is down .1 ton per acre from the previous estimate and down 1.1 tons per acre from the record high set in 2008.

June 1 potato stocks

The 13 major potato states held 51.3 million cwt. of potatoes in storage June 1, up 13 percent from a year ago. Potatoes in storage accounted for 13 percent of the 2009 fall storage states’ production, 1 percent above June 1, 2009. Potato disappearance at 333 million cwt. was 2 percent above June 1, 2009.

Season-to-date shrink and loss at 28.5 million cwt. was up 20 percent from the same date in 2009. Processors in the nine major states used 160 million cwt. of potatoes this season, down 5 percent from the same period last year. Dehydrating usage accounted for 29.9 million cwt. of the total processing, down 6 percent from last year.

U.S. cotton ginning

A total of 11.8 million running bales were ginned during the 2009 season, 5 percent below 2008 ginning of 12.5 million running bales.

There were 680 active cotton gins during the 2009 season, down from 734 gins operated in 2008. Thirty-four percent of the gins processed more than 20,000 running bales compared with 45 percent the previous season.

California field crop prices – May 2010

Mid-May prices received by California farmers increased from April for fall potatoes, all hay, and alfalfa hay. Prices for all potatoes and spring potatoes were below the previous month. The price for other hay was unchanged.